Gujo – a good ambassador for volunteers


The 66-year-old Gudmundur Kristinn Thorsteinsson has worked as a volunteer sports leader for more than 30 years.

By John Jakobsen

Working as a volunteer leader is paramount now when the Arctic Winter Games is just around the corner. A man who knows quite a bit about making a voluntary effort is Gudmundur Kristinn Thorsteinsson – mostly known as Gujo. Who is this Gujo – read on – and you will get the answer.

  – I was born in Reykjavik, Iceland on April 13, 1949. I am married to Benedikte (Bendo) Thorsteinsson, whom I was lucky enough to meet in Copenhagen in October 1970. We have four children and nine grandchildren. I came to Greenland in February 1971 for the first time, and has lived most of my adult life in Greenland – but with a few periods in Iceland.

  – Like most boys, I had interest in soccer, but did not play much. Swimming became my favorite sport and I competed a lot. I was on the team that won the Icelandic Championship in water polo.

  – My interest for sports in Greenland started very randomly in the 1980s in Qaqortoq, where I volunteered in the local club K 1933. I was on the board, local chairman and helped collect funds for the club and much more. Later, I became team leader for both handball and soccer, and finally a coach in handball. This evolved into being on the board of GHF ​​(Greenland Handball Federation), and team leader for the men’s national team that participated at the World Cup in France in 2001.

I’ve also been a coach for GSS for many years.

  – I work voluntarily, and have done so for many years. I usually help when athletes are going to Iceland to compete. This has been one of the great and very rewarding tasks. While I lived in Iceland from 2002 to 2005, I was chairman of the Child and Youth Division of handball at FH in Hafnarfjørdur (one of Iceland’s biggest clubs). I learned a lot from it and it was exciting.

Volunteering brings real friends
Gujo is not officially retired – he tells himself. Volunteering continues – and it means everything.

  – Sports means a lot to me. Volunteer work here in Greenland for the past 30 years has enriched my life – and still does. It has given me many good experiences and friendships for life. I will continue to do everything I can – to help improve conditions for children and young people in our country. I work voluntarily for the children within the sports, and in other areas. And I also still participate in debates – and follow politics.

  – I think that there are many young people in Greenland who can do well in sports. Especially if young people have good conditions to develop within. I have seen how it is being done in Iceland, and also in the Faroe Islands, countries we daily compare ourselves to.

– These two countries have clear objectives. I truly believe that we can do the same here in Greenland, both on a recreational and elite level. Indoor sports have pretty good facilities, but outdoor soccer does not have optimal facilities.

– School sports are also an important part. I believe that discipline is very important if we are to achieve our goals. This should start already in primary school. Greenland can reach high goals, but it requires a clear objective from the authorities in form of a sports policy. Sports are, in my opinion, not only beneficial for those who do it, but for the whole country’s population.


  • Name: Gudmundur Kristinn Thorsteinsson.
  • Work: Looking for work. However, does a lot of volunteer work.
  • Born: April 13, 1949 in Reykjavik, Iceland.
  • Weight: Weights vary according to season and game animals (fresh food), from 106 to 114 kilos.
  • Height: 189 cm.
  • What is your favorite food? Hangikjøt (smoked Icelandic lamb). Whale steaks medium rear w / onions and mashed potatoes.
  • Do you make your own food? Sometimes.
  • How is your relationship with beer, liquor and cigarettes? I have a reasonable relationship to these things.
  • What music do you like? Can I have more space in the newspaper …
  • Do you read books, newspapers or you read news on the web? All of the above.
  • Do you go to the movies often – or watch movies on TV: Not as often here in Nuuk as I would like to. The vararity is not particularly large. Watching movies on TV.
  • ARE you engaged / married – and with whom? Married to Benedicte (Bendo) Thorsteinsson for 44 years and have four children.


The National Team 2001 at the World Cup in France. Rear right is team leader Gujo Thorsteinsson. Photo: John Jakobsen

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